The most promising words in science are not ‘eureka!’ but ‘that’s funny…’

13 April 2012 by Karen Vancampenhout, posted in Uncategorized

As so well stated by A. Einstein, science is at its best when you accidentally stumble upon something:

A few years ago, when analysing samples for our paper on determining factors of soil organic matter chemistry in temperate forest topsoil (Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42, 568-579) we accidentally analysed some subsoil samples as well. We soon realised our mistake, cursed our own stupidity, redid that part of the labwork with the obligatory grumpyness and gave the whole thing no further thought.
Until last year however, when procrastinating a bit, I came across these subsoil datafiles again and decided to have a look at them… I soon realised that something really odd was going on in these samples: very labile, plant derived chemical components were abundant in the subsoil organic matter. I had never seen such signatures in literature before, so we decided to “dig into it”…
Turns out this mistake was a lucky one: these accidentally analysed samples gave us the idea for our latest paper: “Organic matter of subsoil horizons under broadleaved forest: highly processed or labile and plant-derived?” (Soil Biology and Biochemistry 50, 40-46)!
So, on this Friday 13th, I wish you all a lot of good bad-luck!


7 Responses to “The most promising words in science are not ‘eureka!’ but ‘that’s funny…’”

  1. Brien Malone Reply | Permalink

    I actually wandered this way through a Google+ share of your "Scamference" post and found this little gem of a post.

    I'm no one of consequence (to your field, anyway ;) ... But I want to encourage you to write more. If you can pump out clever, interesting posts like this one more often, you could be the one to cultivate broader interest in soil science. (Ugh... Unintentional pun... Sorry.)

  2. Cheap Mascot Costumes Reply | Permalink

    "Soccer teams have been doing it ever since the '70s,In he said. "Because football is the most favorite sport on the planet, you have a wide-ranging acceptance from fans around the globe that it's ideal to put promoting on football jerseys. This is a small step to go from the soccer shirt to a basketball, basketball or maybe baseball shirt.".

  3. Custom Costumes Reply | Permalink

    Just like a large number of other moms every year, I coached our three children in sports activities. The call to be able to duty appeared to be thrust in me in the early stages, but twenty five years later I hated hanging it up. To talk about I experienced it is an exaggeration. Soccer Foundation makes 2 types of field grants available to obsessive schools. The earliest type, the sphere Grant, gives funds to get schools to fit natural yard soccer career fields. The second kind, the Artificial Field Scholarhip, provides resources for educational institutions to install artificial soccer career fields indoors or outdoors.

  4. Cheap Mascot Costumes Reply | Permalink

    Just like countless other moms every year, I coached my personal three sons in sporting activities. The call for you to duty appeared to be thrust after me at first, but 25 years or so later I hated suspending it up. To state I enjoyed it is an exaggeration. Soccer Cornerstone makes two types of field scholarships available to desperate schools. The primary type, this line of business Grant, provides funds regarding schools to put in natural your lawn soccer job areas. The second type, the Synthetic Field Offer, provides money for universities to install manufactured soccer job areas indoors or outdoors.

  5. Custom Costumes Reply | Permalink

    Wednesday: Liz has gal night out. They are going to Little The philipines (fab position, really!) and after that to a video. I get to use Katie to dance class, we have to bring Kristin (obviously). Never family spot. Hookers outside the motel at night. People today sleeping in a lobby through the night.

Leave a Reply